Category: India

Blog Book Tour | “A Dangerous Place” {11th release of the Maisie Dobbs series} by Jacqueline Winspear

Posted Thursday, 19 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on “A Dangerous Place” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I requested and borrowed the first novel (“Maisie Dobbs”) as well as the entire series to better understand the flow of continuity and the origins of the Maisie Dobbs series of which I borrowed via my local library.

Unfortunately, due to time and circumstance, I only read portions of “Maisie Dobbs” (the first novel) for the blog tour and was not obligated to post a review for it. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher HarperCollins Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Reflections on behalf of “Maisie Dobbs”: the first of the series:

Prior to soaking inside A Dangerous Place, I wanted to acquaint myself with who Maisie Dobbs was behind the series which has become a benchmark of cosy historical mysteries with a formidable lead female investigating unique scenarios whilst breaking out of station and class circles in an era of time where women did not quite have the full freedoms they have in today’s modern world. On paper, Maisie Dobbs was a young girl of thirteen who entered into service at the bequest of her father after her mother’s tragic death; a choice to choose between a life of poverty and a chance to make a mark on the world on her own terms. Her father’s love for his daughter was without bounds as he wanted to give her everything she deserved but simply could not afford on his costermonger wages.

She was under tutelage of a prominent private investigator until the Great War erupted and changed life as everyone knew it to be prior to World War I. During the war, Maisie took up her role as a nurse, seeing as much of the battlefields as she dared felt she could survive handling as she nursed the men who came into her wards; the wounds they carried were only half seen to the naked eye, but felt more intuitively by the heart and conscience. This is an ability she carried through to her sleuthing years, as after the Armistice she settled herself into the role she had meant to take-on prior to war: private investigations, continuing the legacy of her tutor Maurice Blanche whilst her benefactor at arms, Lady Rowan is his wife; a close confident of Maisie, and guiding light to her affairs.

Maisie Dobbs might have had a tragic situation take her formative years for a shock, but it was how she was determined to rise out of the ashes of where her childhood ended and lay claim to a future she could not only become proud of but prove to her father she would survive anything life threw at her, Maisie Dobbs found an unusual alliance in the couple (Maurice Blanche & Lady Rowan) whose house gave her a position in service. You could say, she had a guardian angel looking out for her and giving her what she needed at the times in which she needed everything the most. This cocoon of acceptance and support, is what gave her the foundation she needed before and after the Great War.

Maisie was tutored by a man who appreciated sociology and the observations on how the conditions of being human are not limited to psychology and environment. The whole of a person’s being is rooted half by our humanity and half through the experiences of our lives. The best investigator who has a compassionate conscience towards the well-being of both her clients and the people of whom she is investigating will walk the line between where ethics and justice merge together. A direct reflection upon the good of how information can affect a life or how information can subtract a negative result out of a grievance or misunderstanding therein. There are always two sides to every pence, thereby giving two sides of a revelation sparked out of a keen intellect whose deduction extends past the obvious and digs deeper in the heart and conscience. Maisie Dobbs is one such investigator who strives to find a balance between seeking the truth and using the truth to set people free.

Maisie articulates her conscience in her reactions to what happens when her observations deposit her into another person’s reality. The way in which she fuses her own being to that of her observant party is a keen tip of insight on behalf of Winspear, that Maisie likes to study people from the inside out. She formulates an impression on them whilst seeking the truth they might not even realise they are revealing bit by bit in appearance, personality, and countenance.

Winspear allows a beautiful open dialogue between Maisie and her mentor Maurice, through the conversations Maisie brings forward to mind as she wrestles out the best method to unravell the fabric of truth from the moving mirrors of shadows which attempt to forestall what she is uncovering from being brought to light. The past does not always want to be let out in the open nor revealed to all parties who make enquiries. The war plays a key role in eluding to a history that doesn’t quite want to be recollected nor does it want to remain forever silent; no, some ghosts are hard to quell but must be willed back into the conscience of the present.

This first novel of the series, takes us forwards and backwards through where we meet Maisie Dobbs at the jump-start of her new career as a private eye to the myriad past of her benefactor Lady Rowan and how her life intersects with Maisie; giving depth and a level of back-story that draws your eye forward into the text with such a wanton hope of finding more about the characters whom you warm to instantly from having met them a quarter of a novel ago. You are dedicated to their stories because they are openly sharing their life and world with you from page one. It is as if you were a part of their inside circle, privy to their internal thoughts and the intimate moments wherein they share the bits they might think are outside of view.

Blog Book Tour | “A Dangerous Place” {11th release of the Maisie Dobbs series} by Jacqueline WinspearA Dangerous Place
by Jacqueline Winspear
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

Maisie Dobbs returns in a powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy: a brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gibraltar leads the investigator into a web of lies, deceit, and danger.

Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability—and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now, all she wants is the peace she believes she might find by returning to India. But her sojourn in the hills of Darjeeling is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England: her aging father, Frankie Dobbs, is not getting any younger.

On a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she isn't ready to return. Against the wishes of the captain who warns her, "You will be alone in a most dangerous place," she disembarks in Gibraltar. Though she is on her own, Maisie is far from alone: the British garrison town is teeming with refugees fleeing a brutal civil war across the border in Spain.

And the danger is very real. Days after Maisie's arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar's Sephardic Jewish community, Sebastian Babayoff, is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case, drawing the attention of the British Secret Service. Under the suspicious eye of a British agent, Maisie is pulled deeper into political intrigue on "the Rock"—arguably Britain's most important strategic territory—and renews an uneasy acquaintance in the process. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is, for her, an equally dangerous place, but in quite a different way.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: Maisie Dobbs,


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, War Drama


Published by Harper Books

on St. Patrick's Day, 2015

Pages: 320

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published by: Harper Books (@harperbooks)

an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)

The Maisie Dobbs series: {info on series}

Maisie Dobbs

Birds of a Feather

Pardonable Lies

Messenger of Truth

An Incomplete Revenge

Among the Mad

The Mapping of Love and Death

A Lesson in Secrets

Elegy for Eddie

Leaving Everything Most Loved

*A Most Dangerous Place

Available FormatsHardback, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse via: #MaisieDobbs

About Jacqueline Winspear

Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Leaving Everything Most Loved, Elegy for Eddie, A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as four other national bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels.

Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book.


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Posted Thursday, 19 March, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Father-Daughter Relationships, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Geographically Specific, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, India, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Library Find, Library Love, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Loss of an unbourne child, Mental Health, Nurses & Hospital Life, PTSD, Sociological Behavior, Sociology, the Thirties, The World Wars, TLC Book Tours, War Widow

Blog Tour | “Mist of Midnight” {Book 1: Daughters of Hampshire} by Sandra Byrd

Posted Thursday, 5 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was contacted by the author’s (Sandra Byrd) CBA Tour Coordinator (Renee Chaw) back in November, 2014 about the possibility of receiving “Mist of Midnight” in exchange for an honest review which would be included on Ms Byrd’s official blog tour for it’s March release! I was beyond delighted at having been approached by her and readily agreed. As I have a non-giveaway policy for Jorie Loves A Story, this blog tour stop is not hosting the tour giveaway, but rather is solely a book review of the novel which is posted whilst the official tour is going on. I received my complimentary ARC copy of Mist of Midnight direct from Howard Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. In December 2014, I received the press materials from her publicist Ms Chaw. I am thankful for this wonderful opportunity, not only to read my first novel by Ms Byrd but to host my first blog tour book review for Howard Books! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intrigued to Read:

I unequivocally can declare when it comes to Gothic Lit & the Historical Fiction side of literature, I am unabashedly intrigued by each new story and author I stumble across! Imagine my good cheer in finding an author had found me for her blog tour? I hadn’t realised it at the time, but Ms Byrd has been on my TBR for awhile now, as I had to remind myself I had spied her Ladies in Waiting series previously!

When it comes to Gothic Lit, the reason I am caught instinctively inside the pages of stories which befall this category is because I have a passionate affection for ‘psychological suspense’ and most of what I enjoy reading within this realm of plausibility curates this experience for me! I have a penchant for the Victorian era of which I believe might be deduced by my literary wanderings time after time; however, it’s this wicked joy I have bubbling up inside me when I know I am about to plunder inside an enriched atmospheric novel I find the most inspiring! As well noted by now throughout my blog, I’m a hybrid reader (dancing through genres of literature between mainstream & INSPY markets) and I cannot even properly express how wicked happy I was to discover Mist of Midnight!

I have recently read a re-telling of Jane Eyre, entitled: Keeping Kate on behalf of a blog tour for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media; this on the footheels of having learnt there was a readalong for Jane Eyre! Mind you, my unhealthy time consumption in February solely focused on technical malfunctions and ISP unknown tech issues caused my blogging life to be put on hold for most of the month; notwithstanding, I simply lost too many hours within my personal life outside of this blog to soak inside even one book more than I managed to feature within the month just extinguished from view. I still fully intend to read Jane Eyre and go back through the readalong posts, however, sadly it was ill-fated for me to participate as a whole. Thrice this has happened to me, where I had sought out a RAL for Charlotte Bronté’s classic tale, yet it did not stop me from absorbing myself straight into Keeping Kate!

Bringing me round to what I wanted to share, as I have slated in my mind and gathered a bit of my intentions of what to read next on my tCC List in direct reflection to this curiously addictive focus I have on Gothic Lit! What comes to mind after I muse about Eyre, is how in earnest I attempted to borrow and consume the narrative within the pages of The Distant Hours by Kate Morton or even The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates; two novels continuously whetting my palette with hearty intrigue.

Now when it comes to ‘inheritance stories’ I must confess, I have a particular interest in them because they bring a swirl of excitement to central focus within the heart of where the story leads us to go as the lead character is nearly always at odds in these situations with an interloper! Someone who either has a hardened heart turnt black and whose ill will seeks to cause them extreme duress if not personal harm, has a shadowy allure to soak into your imagination due to the very nature of what pulls this context forward! You start to gather the facts inside your own mind, weigh and counterbalance what is perceived against what is known (as so oft-times the writer holds the reader in the dark and/or gives only ‘just so’ much information to leave the climax plausibly aloof) and hold a firm grasp on your emotional heart as the drama surrounding the entire tale will leave you up late into the night wicking at the flames of a candle!

Yes, I must confess, when it comes to seeking stories — the ones of which give me a hitch of wicked joy are the ones shrouded in suspense with the framework of a relationship that may or may not yield in romantic overtures. The mystery itself is well worth the wait to see how everything unfolds! With haste and felicity, I took up the pages of Mist of Midnight! Top cheers to Ms Byrd for allowing us the grace of seeing this is only one installment of a new series yet to bewitch us wholly and true!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Blog Tour | “Mist of Midnight” {Book 1: Daughters of Hampshire} by Sandra ByrdMist of Midnight
by Sandra Byrd
Source: Direct from Publisher

In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her...and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca's name, but her home and incomes.

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father's investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: Daughters of Hampshire,


Genres: Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Howard Books

on 10th March, 2015

Pages: 384

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: Howard Books (@Howard_Books)
(an imprint of Simon & Schuster: )

Available Formats:  Hardback & E-Book

Converse on Twitter: #MistOFMidnight

About Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd is a best-selling author and has earned Library Journal's Best Books of the year pick twice, in 2011 for To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn, and in 2012 for The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr. She's twice been a Christy Award finalist, for To Die For and for Let Them Eat Cake: A Novel. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I published April 2013

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Posted Thursday, 5 March, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Castles & Estates, Cemeteries & Graveyards, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Genre-bender, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Gothic Romance, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, India, Inheritance & Identity, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Literature of India, Lyrical Quotations, Military Fiction, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Singletons & Commitment, Suspense, the Victorian era, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions

Blog Book Tour | “The Savage Fortress” (Book 1: the Ash Mistry series) by Sarwat Chadda an adventurous #MGLit rooted in the mythology and culture of India

Posted Friday, 12 December, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

The Ash Mistry series by Sarwat Chadda:

 Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress (Book 1)

Ash Mistry and the City of Death (Book 2)

Ash Mistry and the World of Darkness (Book 3)

Published by: Arthur A. Levine Books an imprint of Scholastic (@Scholastic)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook, and Ebook

Converse via Twitter: #AshMistry, #sarwatchadda, & #TheSavageFortress

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I was originally going to make my debut hosting for Diverse Book Tours with the Pig Park Blog Tour, however due to a complication my tour stop was cancelled. I am still going to be reading “Pig Park” and am hopeful I can still share the interview I had given with the author. However, this particular blog tour caught my attention immediately due to the fact it was rooted in mythology and the culture of India! I was selected to be on the tour and what was special about this blog tour is how the tour coordinators gifted seven hosts with a complimentary copy of the book “The Savage Fortress”. We were not obligated to post a review on the blog tour itself but were asked to express what drew our attention to the novel. I did not realise this initially which is why when I agreed to host the tour I accepted the book in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Happily this marks my first blog tour as a hostess for Diverse Book Tours, a feat in of itself which is my continuing celebration of diversity and equality in literature. I joined the national campaign for #WeNeedDiverseBooks since it’s inception six months ago, and I have continued to show my support with tweeting about the diversity and/or equality I find in the stories I am reading. One step further is I secured permission to keep the badge in my sidebar before it became popular to do so, as much as I happily placed the Twibbon on my Twitter Profile. It is a cause knitted dear to my heart and if you click on the category “Equality in Lit” in my cloud or below this book review, you will be lead through all the posts which parallel on the topic.

In the New Year or shortly before I am looking forward to seeing the announcement of an idea Janet Ursel (@JanetUrsel) put together for all of us to participate in as it celebrates our passion for reading literature which not only gives us empathy for differences but a passion for reading a diverse array of stories. As 2015 comes into focus, you will be finding me blogging more about stories which champion the reason we have the national campaign as I have always been drawn to these stories myself! I simply have a lot to share and quite happily have a growing community of bookish souls who agree with me!

Inspired to Read:

It might not be widely known amongst my friends, but I have a particular interest in The Mummy films as I happen to adore mythological story arcs which curate an adventure for the characters! The films deal with Ancient Egypt and are a great example of how you can combine live-action with CGI effects and never feel as if the two were used too much or too little! I love the balance but I also loved how the series of three films pushed my envelope of what I consider ‘adventure’ and what technically the rest of the world considers ‘horror’! Laughs. For me, they were a brilliant psychological suspense motion picture trilogy with the key advantage of giving me just enough suspense and wicked adventure!

My reading life runs concurrent to my film life on the level that I am always quite open to seeking out stories which implore me to read them; even if I believe at the jumpstart of finding them they very well could be ‘a challenge’! When I devoured the information about the Ash Mistry series on the author’s website and then re-read the book synopsis for The Savage Fortress for a third time, my gut instinct told me I was going to be ‘okay’ reading this because how seriously intense could it get for a Middle Grade novel? Right? Says the book blogger who was afraid of the spiders in the Harry Potter films! Laughs.

The Cooper Kids Adventure series is one of the best bookish joys of my childhood because I was able to tag-along with an archaeologist (yes, I positively considered becoming one in real-life!) and go on these epic adventures with him! I loved the historical aspects of the series, and who even knew they continued it past the initial books I originally had read? It is on my long term list of bookish goals to find copies of the missing books I do not have as I would very much like to find out what happens! This is a clue that I am a booklover through and through, as I do not oft let go of a book even if I cannot read it as quickly as I would prefer! I am the same person who spent a decade chasing down used copies of a favourite YA series (the Cassandra mysteries – if you know what this refers too, do leave me a comment!) and last year I finally sorted out the missing two novels in sequence past The Purple Door!

I had a good feeling about The Savage Fortress – even if part of me was telling my head how much I can get freaked out about certain things, my heart was telling me ‘you can read this! your going to love it!’ – thus started my bookish journey towards soaking inside the first novel of the Ash Mistry series! And, yet I have only disclosed half of my reason to read it! You see, I have had a dearly beloved appreciation and passion for the art, culture, and food of India! I spoke about this interest of mine whilst I blogged my ruminations on Losing Touch. I have mentioned at times I enjoy reading about World Religions but I am unsure if I mentioned this includes Hinduism and Buddhism? For all of these reasons I was wicked happy seeing this blog tour pop up as it truly felt like an unexpected gift of joy had alighted in my life! Read More

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Posted Friday, 12 December, 2014 by jorielov in Action & Adventure Fiction, Ancient Civilisation, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Brothers and Sisters, Children's Literature, Content Note, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Diverse Book Tours, Equality In Literature, Excessive Violence in Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore and Mythology, India, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Juvenile Fiction, Literature for Boys, Literature of India, Middle Grade Novel, Siblings